General Election 2019: Landslide victory for Conservatives as Black Country turned blue and Labour almost wiped out
Boris Johnson stormed to a landslide victory after his election gamble to gain a majority to deliver Brexit paid off spectacularly.
The Prime Minister returned to Downing Street in triumph as the Conservatives secured a huge majority of more than 70 seats.
It marked the biggest Tory majority since Margaret Thatcher’s third win in 1987, and paves the way for Britain to finally depart the EU on January 31.
Labour wiped out
The Black Country and Staffordshire turned blue as the Tories produced their best ever general election performance across the region.
It was carnage for Labour, with Boris Johnson’s party taking both West Bromwich seats for the first time, along with the Labour stronghold of Wolverhampton North East, as well as Wolverhampton South West and Dudley North.
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The Conservatives now hold 10 out of 13 seats in the Black Country. And the party easily held South Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Stone, Stafford and Lichfield.
Labour’s Emma Reynolds, pictured, lost the Wolverhampton North East seat she had held since 2010, with Tory Jane Stevenson overturning a majority of 4,587 to win by 4,080.
Tom Watson’s old seat of West Bromwich East went to Conservative Nicola Richards, who overturned a majority of 7,713 to win by 1,593.
The Tories also landed the neighbouring West Bromwich West seat, Shaun Bailey winning with a majority of 3,799.
The Conservatives took Wolverhampton South West, where Stuart Anderson edged out Labour’s Eleanor Smith by 1,661.
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Dudley North also fell, with Marco Longhi landing a majority of 11,533 in a seat which had been Labour since its formation.
In Walsall North, which was Labour for nearly 40 years until 2017, Conservative Eddie Hughes more than quadrupled his votes to win with a 11,965 majority. Wendy Morton extended her majority in Aldridge-Brownhills to 19,836, an increase of more than 5,000.
For Labour, John Spellar and Valerie Vaz held onto Warley and Walsall South respectively, albeit with decreased majorities, while in Wolverhampton South East Pat McFadden saw his majority tumble to just 1,235.
Former Labour MP Ian Austin, who stood down in Dudley North and endorsed the Tories, said voters had given the thumbs down to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
A jubilant Mr Johnson declared that his party has “smashed the roadblock” and “ended the gridlock” as he hailed the biggest Conservative majority since the 1980s.
The Prime Minister vowed to unite the country, spread opportunity and “get Brexit done” after his snap General Election gamble paid off and he romped home with an estimated majority of 78.
In a victory speech in central London, Mr Johnson said: “We did it – we pulled it off, didn’t we? We broke the gridlock, we ended the deadlock, we smashed the roadblock.”
On a disastrous night for Jeremy Corbyn, Labour lost more than 50 seats, as his hard-left agenda for the country was resoundingly rejected by voters.
After Labour’s worst performance since 1935, he said he would not lead the party at a future election and is expected to stand down.
The result will allow Mr Johnson to pass his Brexit deal with ease in the new year, bringing to an end the gridlock that has strangled parliament since the EU referendum.
It came as the Tories smashed through the “red wall” of previously Labour-held seats in the Midlands, Wales and the north.
There was an early sign of what was to come when the Tories won Blyth Valley, overturning a majority of nearly 8,000 in a seat that has only ever been taken by Labour.
It was a pattern that continued into the early hours of the morning, with the Conservatives overturning a majority of nearly 4,000 Workington, while Wrexham turned blue for the first time ever as a string of Labour majorities of 8,000-plus disappeared.
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson lost her seat to the SNP. The party announced it was placing Sir Ed Davey and Baroness Sal Brinton as interim joint leaders ahead of a new year leadership contest.